Obviously this blog reflects the opinion of the author and no one else. I have no doubt many people will not agree with me. But I find myself forced to comment on what I believe is increasingly a contest for President of the United States between, on the one hand, a candidate who has been and continues to be maliciously maligned and, on the other hand, a candidate who has become deservedly despicable. Let me discuss the maliciously maligned first.
Perhaps I am overly thickheaded or blind to facts, but I do not understand the accusations and even outright hatred on the part of some towards President Obama. I have my own problems with Obama, and disappointments, but even so I cannot understand what it is that some find so terrible about his Presidency. I cannot see where Obama has done anything so terrible as to bring about the criticism he is receiving. He managed to do away with don’t ask, don’t tell. Is that a really horrible thing to have done? He signed the Lily Ledbetter act, is that? He improved health care for millions of Americans, a truly momentous change in our health care system that has improved the lives of millions. For this he is accused of promoting socialism even though health care is still in the hands of private insurance companies. He managed to find and kill Osama bin Laden, withdraw our troops from Iraq, and will try to end the hostilities in Afghanistan, and also was instrumental in bringing down Ghadafi. His foreign policy has to be seen as successful, everything considered. He is in favor of trying to improve the lives of the citizens he serves. For this he is maligned at every opportunity, he’s destroying our country and we must “take it back,” he’s the most radical left wing President in the history of the United States, he’s a Muslim, a socialist, a communist, a Kenyan, or at least an “Other” of some kind. He’s even accused of being guilty of treason. He is also criticized for trying to promote ideas that were originally put forward by Republicans! I just don’t get it. Even if you don’t like some or even all of the things he has done or tried to do they certainly don’t add up to treason, socialism, or trying to destroy the country. I have no doubt that now that he has publicly stated he thinks Gays and Lesbians should be allowed to marry and share full civil rights with all of us, he will no doubt be pilloried for that as well. As I do not believe anything he has done has been contrary to the basic values of our presumably democratic nation, I have concluded the irrational hatred some have for him is fundamentally racial in nature. He is guilty of being successful while Black. He certainly deserves a second term, especially when compared with his deservedly despicable opponent. As near as I can tell the major criticism is that he is leading us toward socialism (a fate apparently worse than death). If trying to improve the lives of the middle class and the working poor is socialism, so be it.
When I first learned about Mitt Romney I did not have any bad attitude towards him. Indeed, I thought he was probably a reasonable candidate for President, a former Governor, a successful businessman, someone who reportedly had successfully “saved the Olympic Games.” He was nice looking, a devoted family man with five sons, and in general an upstanding and reasonable potential choice. Although I was aware he was a Mormon, and also aware that many Evangelicals thought Mormonism was a cult, that meant nothing in particular to me. Mormonism, as far as I was concerned, isn’t really much different than any other organized religion. I didn’t think it would matter much. In short, I thought Romney was respectable, had proper credentials, and would, if it became inevitable, probably be an okay President, for a Republican. But with Romney the more you learn about him and observe his behavior, the more you dislike him. I thought carefully about using the term despicable, considering instead merely saying he was deservedly disappointing, but I concluded despicable is closer to what I truly believe about him. My first clue as to a potential problem is when he lied about being a hunter, “all his life.” This proved to be demonstrably untrue, and as it was kind of trivial I didn’t understand why he would lie about something like that. Similarly, he claimed to be a lifetime member of the NRA, another ridiculous falsehood. Then, when his record was reviewed, it turns out he has flip-flopped on virtually every issue of importance, abortion, Gay marriage, Roe vs Wade, don’t ask, don’t tell, you name it, he’s been on both sides at one time or another. He has lied and flip-flopped his way finally into becoming the Republican candidate and now he is again flip-flopping and trying to pretend he didn’t say all the right-wing positions he took even though there is solid evidence that he did. He lies constantly about Obama’s record, lies so transparent they are actually laughable. Now he even wants to take credit for the bailout of the automobile industry, a lie so monstrous as to probably be believed by his supporters, whoever they may be. He seems to have no core values whatsoever, changing his position depending on who is talking to at the moment. He is so wishy-washy he makes an empty suit look like an activist. He is apparently a pathological liar willing to do or say anything to become President. He claims he will never change his opposition to Gay marriage. I wouldn’t bet on it. If I were a Mormon (heaven forbid), I would not want him held up as a representative of my faith. Similarly, if I were a traditional Republican (a vanishing species) I would not want him representing my party. He is a man of no convictions, shallow, ignorant of anything much beyond his brand of vulture capitalism, and thus, in my view, despicable.
Nothing is more despicable than a professional talker who uses his words as a quack uses his remedies.
Francois de Salignac